Carrie Rengers

Wichita businessman Wink Hartman Sr. ‘seriously considering’ Senate race

Wichita businessman Wink Hartman Sr. says he wants to give back to Kansas and has the skills to do it, so that means he could be one of many candidates who vies for the seat that U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts is vacating in two years.

“I am — how do you say? — I am seriously considering entering the race,” Hartman says.

Hartman, a Republican, ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2010. In 2017, he ran for governor but eventually endorsed Kris Kobach and then joined his unsuccessful ticket as a candidate for lieutenant governor.

Hartman says there are “two major reasons” he’s interested in possibly running for the Senate.

“I’m a Kansan, and I have the experience to make the proper decisions that will affect not only our state but our country,” he says.

“I built a large group of skill sets over many decades in the Kansas communities, and I wish to serve and repay what this great state has given me.”

Hartman said the reality is everyone who is considering entering the race needs to consider who else may enter.

“Shall we say there’s a lot of contenders, and I think it would behoove me and possibly some of the others who are considering it to take a deep breath and see where everybody is going to land,” he says. “You should sit down and consider what are their values?”

How quickly Hartman makes a decision depends on how quickly others make theirs.

“There’s no hurry.”

Hartman estimates he spent about $2.5 million on the gubernatorial race, and he says he doesn’t regret a dollar.

“I consider every dollar I spent to be a great investment.”

If Hartman enters the Senate race, he’d likely spend a substantial amount of his own money again.

“Like everything I do in life, I will be prepared to win.”

Carrie Rengers has been a reporter for almost three decades, including 16 years at The Wichita Eagle. Her Have You Heard? column of business scoops runs five days a week in The Eagle. If you have a tip, please e-mail or tweet her or call 316-268-6340.